Well done to our World's team who are returning home today
The Irish World's team have left Ireland on their journey to the Dominican Republic.
Report from Douglas Elmes:
"I was one of five sailors travelling along with our Team Mum Marie, and our Coach Dennis.
We arrived in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, close to midnight on July 9th. The first thing
that struck me was the heat and the humidity. The air felt much wetter and stickier than
back in Ireland; even at midnight it was touching 25 C. We had a short drive from the airport
to the hotel where we checked in and went to sleep straight away.
The hotel wasnít great but it did the job! It had two pools and a buffet where we ate every day.
It also had air conditioning for our rooms which was essential at night for us to sleep.
We had arrived about 5 days before the event started, so we could train. The training was
really helpful to familiarise us with the sailing area and prepare our boats as best we could.
During the training days, we launched off a really small beach opposite the sailing club.
The sailing club was amazing ! There were two nice pools overlooking the beach, and there
was an offshore seafood bar where we had lunch once or twice and there was a big inflatable
slide set up just off the beach.
The event itself was really well run and organised. During the racing we were given GPS Trackers
so that our family at home could track our racing. Unfortunately, a few days into the racing,
some of our trackers stopped working.
The first day of racing brought light to medium conditions and our Race Officer finished
2 races for all fleets. The second and third day didnít go as planned for us.
Due to thunderstorms we couldnít race as they brought huge shifts, thunder and lightning,
heavy rain and overall unraceable conditions. At the end we finished nine races which counted
for a series but it was also disappointing we didnít get more races in.
The Optimist Worlds was a really tough and challenging event but at the same time it was goodfun and an amazing experience. "
World's Team: Douglas Elmes, Megan Parker, Sophie Browne, Harry Whitaker and Harry Durcan, with Team Leader Marie Cournane and Team Coach Dennis Paaske
Report from Marie, Team Mum:
"Arrived in Dominican Republic on Monday night after 24 hrs travelling with a stop over in New York of 7 hrs where we passed the time in a shopping mall in Queens.
Woke up to blistering sunshine next morning after 5 hrs sleep in Boca Chico.
Basic accomodation but air conditioning Thank God.
We received our boats next morning and spent most of the day assembling and a swim in the warm sea.
The yacht club is very beautiful and the organisation is very good they are friendly and helpful
Wednesday the sailors rigged and went out sailing for 3 hrs. A pre worlds regatta was scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Thursday racing was cancelled as a result of a thunderstorm I though I was back home again. Friday racing continued with 3 races the Irish sailors used this opportunity for practice for the actual evnet .
We have had our measurement today and all went smoothly. The sailors had the morning off and went to the beach. The highlight for the sailors was going out on a banana ride with Dennis and all capsizing a number of times while being towed by a motor boat at high speed while I watched carefully from shore.
Dennis will be updating on the racing in the next number of days."
Racing for the Worlds begins Tuesday July 17th.
Report from Marie 17th July:
"Irish are sharing a rib with South Africa Had day off on Sunday and went to the beach and had lunch at the club a relaxed day.The team had training with South Africans yesterday morning and went out on the rib to watch the practice race they did not participate.
We had the opening cermony last night with a colourful display by local dancers.Harry Durcan youngest on the team raised the Irish flag.
Racing proper has started today with all boats now launched and a tracker system attached to each boat.All sailors in good form and enthusiastic to start racing".
Day 1 racing - Tuesday 17th July
Megan Parker is first Irish girl in 47th place, starting strongly with a 3rd and a 27; Harry Whitaker is first Irish boy, with two 16s putting him in 51st place overall.
Douglas Elmes is in 87, Sophie Browne in 104 and Harry Durcan in 159 place out of a fleet of the best 230 Optimist sailors in the world. Well done so far to all.
Day 2 racing - Wednesday 18th July
Boats launched today but the area was hit by tropical thunderstorms and racing was abandoned.
Day 3 racing - Thursday 19th July
Just one race completed today, with a 10th for Doug bringing him up to 60th place; Megan had a tough day but is still in 76th. Sophie moved up to 97th, but Harry W was unlucky when what seemed like a terrific race turned out to be OCS, leaving him in 125 and Harry D in 170.
Day 4 racing - Friday 20th July
Once again, thunderstorms meant only one race today, bringing a very low total of 4 races in 4 days sailing. Some nice results for our team - Harry D got a 3rd, Harry W a 4th and Sophie a 5th. This changes our team's positions quite substantially, putting Sophie in 63rd, Doug in 70th, Megan in 74th, Harry W in 83rd and Harry D in 123rd.
Tomorrow (Saturday) is the beginning of team racing, so there will be no updates on individual results for a couple of days.
Day 5 racing - Monday 23rd July
Today was meant to be a rest day, but due to the low number of races completed so far, rest was cancelled and the fleet launched. Shifty conditions continued to prevail, and despite a long day on the water, only a total of five races have now been raced. Harry W had another 4th, and Doug a 10th, and Harry W, Doug and Sophie are within a few places of each other (56,60 and 63) with Megan on 99th, and Harry D improving slightly to 121.
Day 6 racing - Tuesday 24th July
A great day for the Irish on the second last day of the 2012 Worlds, with Harry D taking a 1st! Not to be left out, Harry W got a 2 and a 3, and Doug had two 8ths. A good day overall means that the entire Irish team is now well within the top half of the fleet, with Harry W in 10th place overall. Other news from the Worlds - Team Singapore are dominating the event, with sailors placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall.
Well done to Team Ireland; Irish positions as our sailors go into their last day's racing are - Harry W 10, Douglas 44, Megan 78, Sophie 91 and Harry D 121.
Last day's racing - Wednesday 25th July
Harry W continued his great run today with a second place, while Doug and Harry D both had races just outside the top ten. Two races took place on the last day's sailing, bringing the total number of races to 9. Singapore took four of the top five places, with Bart Lambriex of Netherlands taking 4th. Over the past couple of years, girls have taken the first place overall and this year was no exception with Yukie Yokoyama of Singapore taking first place.
The Irish team have done us proud with all five sailors finishing in the top half of the fleet, and Harry W finishing in 20th position. Well done Harry, and well done to all the team - Harry W (20), Douglas Elmes (50), Megan Parker (84), Harry D (97) and Sophie Browne (103).
The event website is www.optiworlds2012.org, with photos on www.capizzano.com/optiworlds2012.
We all wish Douglas Elmes, Sophie Browne, Harry Whitaker, Harry Durcan and Megan Parker the best of luck.